How courts protect vulnerable Alaskans—the Elderly
By Kathleen McCoy, KSKA
Anchorage, AK - "Older Alaskans are the fastest growing population group in the state. Practically everyone has an older relative or a neighbor aging in place. With that chapter of life comes challenges over health and medicine, safety and security, independence and even the dangers of loneliness.
September 16, 2016
Courts have a role; they can appoint a helper. This can come in the form of a limited or an expansive power of attorney; a conservator who basically pays the bills and files the taxes; or a guardian who oversees all aspects—from health and safety to finances. Guardianship is not a forever role; it can be reviewed, calibrated or reversed.
A magistrate judge working in this area said his first impression was the good work of helping those in need. But with time, he more fully realized that guardianship means eclipsing some rights—a decision the courts take very seriously."
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